Sunday, March 22, 2015

Olaf from "Frozen"

After Anna, I moved right on to Olaf.  He was simple and turned out great!




I stuffed his hands with stuffing and stuffed the arm part with pipe cleaners.  No picnic, let me tell you.  I had some decisions to make about his eyes.  This was the picture I had looked at for inspiration:



I liked the wiggle eyes, but the purist in me just wouldn't let me use them.  I just wanted them to be felt.  I used a regular hole punch for the white part and my 1/8" punch for the black part.  That seemed to work out size-wise.  I got them stitched on and they looked like this:



Blech.  I labored over it for a little while and decided to try stitching an outline around them.  I started with one eye:



That definitely made the difference!  On to eye #2:




I used two layers of felt for the nose.  I started stitching at the top left, went across to the top to the point of the nose, then down across the bottom.  When I got to the bottom right, I put the nose on the face and stitched the straight part through the two layers of orange and the layer of white, attaching to the nose to the face.  You can't tell from the picture, but the nose has some dimension that way and isn't completely stitched down to the face.  It sticks out a little.  (Does that make sense?)

I know in the movie, Olaf is substantially smaller than the humans.  I didn't want to make him to scale, because he would've been too small.  I did want to make him smaller, though.  Here he is next to Anna so you can see the proportion:



If you wanted to simpifly him, it would really be easy to do.  You could glue on all the facial features and the buttons and use wiggle eyes.  You could also just use a single layer of felt for the arms and hair.  Easy peasy!  If you're on my email list, I'll be sending you this pattern.  If you're not, drop me a line at feltornaments@yahoo.com I'll get it out to you.

I'm getting back to a couple of my "must stitch" ornaments before I design and stitch Elsa.  You'll just have to be patient!  I got out the pattern for Jeffrey Jump-Up (the basketball player) and shuddered.  I'll have to force myself -- he's got to be done!  I hope you've found a little time to stitch.  Don't forget to send me your pictures!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Anna from "Frozen"

DO YOU WANT TO BUILD A SNOWMAN?????

I have a confession that I might as well get out of the way right up front.  I haven't seen "Frozen."  I know -- the horror.  Somehow, that was a father-daughter outing and we even own the DVD but I still haven't watched it.  But that doesn't mean that I've managed to escape Frozen-mania.

I kept seeing Frozen-inspired felt ornaments crop on Pinterest and I really wanted to make a set for Mariah.  I looked at lots of pictures and took inspiration from here and there.  Then I looked for pictures of actual costume details.  I used these for inspiration:







One of the trickiest things was to decide how to do the hair.  Doing some sort of stuffed braids would've been a pain in the butt. I decided to go for accuracy and really braid the felt.  It turned out great!  Here's the finished product, and then I'll talk about some details:




You can see here how I slit the pattern piece for the hair into three strands and then braided them.  I did a simple tack at the bottom to hold them together.  Word to the wise:  Don't slit the braid pieces until the bitter end -- After you've stitched and after you've stuffed.  Because I'm hard-headed, I had to learn this the hard way TWICE.  Once on Brother Lee Love's hair and the second time on Leiloni.  When felt gets cut into a thin strip, it tears very easily.  I wound up doing patch jobs on both those ornaments.  Cut it, and then immediately braid it.  

I used two strands of embroidery flosss -- not thread -- to do the detail work.  The little dots are just French knots.  I didn't draw this on first.  I just freehanded stitched it . . . as you can plainly see from the imperfections and asymmetry!  




Here are the boots.  They turned out great,



On the skirt, I used some lazy daisy stitches.  (Google that if you're unfamiliar with them.  It's an easy stitch.)  If had to make one change, it would be on the skirt.  I would make the scalloped overskirt come up a little higher on the underskirt.  I always forget that things look one way flat on the paper and a little different stitched and stuffed.  The stuffing drags that scallop a little more down and under than I would've liked.





Here's the back.  The cape is a completely separate piece that's just glued on the front under the neck.  Different pictures of Anna show the cape at different lengths.  I like the short one, but you could easily make it longer by extending the pattern piece.  I did two pieces and stitched them together.  You don't have to -- I'm just OCD about having unstitched edges of felt on my ornaments.  (I know -- I'm in therapy.)  



Mariah LOVED her!  I'm already working on Olaf and he's turning out great.  The final piece will be Elsa.  She's actually a little boring.  (Did I just say that out loud?)  Mariah also wants me to do the reindeer.  (It is wrong that I don't know his name???)  We'll see how complicated he is and how my time holds out!

If you receive my email updates, I'll be sending this pattern directly to you.  If you don't and would like to have it, just email me at feltornaments@yahoo.com.  I hope you're stitching away.  Don't forget to send me photos of your finished projects!